Imani Perry receives National Book Award for Nonfiction for ‘South to America’

November 18, 2022
Photo of Imani Perry by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications; photo of the cover of Imani Perry’s book “South to America” courtesy of Ecco Books.

Imani Perry (African American Studies) has received the 2022 National Book Award for Nonfiction for “South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation” (HarperCollins/Ecco Press, 2022). The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature published in the United States, expand its audience and ensure that books have a prominent place in our culture.

“Alabama now has a National Book Award,” said Perry, a native of Birmingham, accepting the award in front of a live audience at the National Book Award ceremony, held Nov. 16 in New York City, with a speech that included a thank-you to Princeton’s Department of African American Studies, among a generous list of acknowledgments.

She said: “We may write in solitude but we in labor in solidarity. Community is never easy but absolutely necessary, may we meet the challenges of a broken world together, making intercessions with love unbound and heart without end.”

“South to America” is a narrative journey through the South, maintaining that one must understand the region in order to understand America.

Read the full story on the University homepage.

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